Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Midweek pedantry

From today's otherwise-sensible Brian Rudman column on public broadcasting:
At least, with it's failed experimentation with a Charter, the previous government showed its instincts were in the right place.

[...] TVNZ cries poor over a miserable $3 million and Dr Coleman backs them. But what is this amount compared with the $190 million of taxpayers dollars going into the Eden Park upgrade, the $20 million going into "party central" on Queens Wharf, and the cultural value of sharing the occasion with everyone?

[...] Maori TV has already reminded us what a powerful cultural force the medium can be in it's extended coverage of national events such as Anzac Day commemorations and the tangi of the late Maori Queen.
That's three apostrophe malfunctions in one medium-length article. I don't blame Brian Rudman - his job is to come up with content. God knows I make errors when I post on here, although one might think more care would be taken with actual print material. Nonetheless, I would think that Rudman, like every other writer working for the paper, ought to be able to expect his article to be read by someone - let's call them a sub-editor - who either fixes mistakes or tells him to do it himself.

I know it's 'just' grammar, and we all still understand what it's saying. But it's a major newspaper! It's like turning up at a Buckingham Palace dinner in trackpants.

Estimates of how long it will be until the whole paper is just in text language are welcome.

11 comments:

  1. its' alway's a sure sign a newspapers' going to the dog's when it does'nt know how to use apostrophes'

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  2. I've just been telling my students that I get very annoyed, with a consequent effect on my marking mood, by dangling apostrophe's.

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  3. To be fair to Rudman, many emailed works end up with the apostrophes stripped out of them Blame must fall within the Herald.

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  4. I noticed this at the end as well:

    "How right, Dr Coleman's briefing paper was..."

    Gaaah

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  5. Anon: Yeah, Rudman's in the clear. I imagine that the person who normally does the checking was hungover or struck with swine flu, so no one ended up doing it.

    Samuel: How right, you are.

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  6. And I thought it was just me who was disappointed and surprised at Rudman's apparent lack of attention to detail.

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  7. May I point you to the daddy of news FAIL blogs.

    http://probablybadnews.com/

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  8. punctuation pedants should put up or shutup who needs apostrophes anyway theire just a pain in in the gluteus maximus just like spelling nazis it is evidence that you dont have a proper argument and just acting immature and silly grow up everybody!!!

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  9. WTF Ropata? WTF? Using grammar is immature? Are you special needs?

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  10. "punctuation pedants should put up or shutup who needs apostrophes anyway theire just a pain in in the gluteus maximus just like spelling nazis it is evidence that you dont have a proper argument and just acting immature and silly grow up everybody!!!"

    The delicious irony being that it's you who have come in with absolutely no relevant argument at all, since nobody here was shooting down Rudman's column based on the punctuation errors - just pointing out that they mar good writing.

    Your run-on sentence is almost besides the point - and somehow you seem to be able to find the Shift key for your exclamation marks, but nothing else - but out of the goodness of my heart I'll note you down as a comedy troll rather than a total flaming idiot.

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  11. I'll note you down as a comedy troll
    I have achieved my goal. :)

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